By Rob LaPlante
Crow River News Sports
Even the unseasonably cold weather couldn’t prevent the St. Michael-Albertville boys’ tennis team from picking up its first victory of the season.
Monday’s 7-0 home shutout win over St. Cloud Apollo at Middle School West was STMA’s first match of the season. Their first scheduled match at Andover on April 4 was postponed and rescheduled for this Friday.
The Knights and Eagles both braved the cold temps and wet conditions. STMA came away with impressive straight set wins in both singles and doubles play.
Junior Denver Robak struggled a bit in his first gig at the No. 1 singles position. After a hard fought 7-5 win in the first set, Robak completed the comeback win with a 6-1 second-set victory.
“Denver started out trying to finish the points a little fast,” said STMA head coach Jim Riles. “He fell behind 5-4 in the first set, but battled back by getting more consistent and going to the net.”
Eighth-grader Jimmy Li picked up a 6-3, 6-0 victory at No. 2 singles. Senior captain Thor Holstad won at No. 3 singles 6-1, 6-3 and sophomore John Budde finished the singles sweep with a convincing 6-0, 6-1 win at the No. 4 spot.
“It was really nice to see Thor and John play well in singles after playing mostly doubles the past few years,” Riles said.
The Knights earned all three points in doubles play. STMA sophomore’s Joe Hebeisen and Taylor Rothstein picked up a forfeit win at No. 3 doubles. The Knights top doubles pair of junior Zach House and senior captain Zach Schopf easily won their match 6-0, 6-1.
Likewise, No. 2 doubles tandem of sophomore Aaron Dorland and junior Josh Alexander shutout the Eagles 6-0, 6-0.
“I thought our doubles teams played well for their first match,” Riles said. “We have not been able to work with our doubles teams a lot. We will still need to find out who plays best together.”
The Knights (1-0 overall) were scheduled to have four matches this week. Tuesday’s showdown at home with Buffalo was not available at deadline. Weather permitting, Thursday’s match at Big Lake is at 4:15 p.m. STMA concludes a busy schedule of play with their makeup date Friday at Andover at 4 p.m.